Region 22 Probate District  

The mission of Region 22 Probate District is to be responsive to the needs of those who utilize court services and to serve all with respect and compassion.  
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Practical Probate is a seminar series created by Judge Domenick Calabrese of the Region 22 Probate District.  Covering a wide variety of topics, it’s designed for non-attorneys.  In 15 years on the bench, Judge Calabrese has seen how confusion and misunderstanding of probate issues can adversely affect families and individuals who come to the probate court.

Using a simple, informal approach, Judge Calabrese discusses topics that are of interest to many, such as Living Trusts, Incapacity, Real Estate and Probate, Wills, Guardianships, and Connecticut Unclaimed Property, to name just a few.

During these presentations, Judge Calabrese answers questions from the audience.  The objective of Practical Probate is to provide the public with information that will help them better understand their own situations, and whether they may benefit from planning.  It’s also designed to provide unbiased facts to minimize chances that attendees may be taken advantage of by unscrupulous purveyors of expensive products and services that often don’t deliver on promises made.  Frequently, opportunists capitalize on fear of the probate process for their own monetary gain at the expense of seniors, families, and individuals.







Choosing an Attorney

Monday October 23

7:00 pm

Bethlehem Public Library

32 Main St. S


Bethlehem CT  06751

Probate Myths, Misconceptions & Mistakes Part 2

 Monday November 20 12:30 pm Oxford Senior Center

10 Old Church Rd,

Oxford, CT 06478

The New Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act  Tuesday, December 5  2:00 pm Woodbury Senior Center

265 Main St. S

Woodbury, CT 06798

The New Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act Wednesday, January 17, 2018  12 Noon Washington Senior Center

6 Bryan Hall Plaza

Washington Depot, CT









For more information on Connecticut estate planning and probate, visit the Connecticut Estate Planning Blog at: 

For more articles and presentations by Dom Calabrese, visit his website at:



Practical Probate

Free Seminar Series


Estate Planning

In this free seminar, Judge Calabrese discusses the purposes of estate planning, including asset management, transferring assets during life and after death, estate tax planning, and planning for incapacity. He also examines how wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance healthcare directives, and designations of conservator may be used to create a comprehensive estate plan. 


Estate Taxes in Connecticut

When a Connecticut resident passes away, his or her estate may be subject to Connecticut estate tax. The Connecticut estate tax scheme can be complex; rates and exemptions can be drastically different from one year to another. Judge Domenick Calabrese of the Region 22 Probate District reviews Connecticut estate taxes, outlining exemptions, marital deduction, persons subject to Connecticut estate tax, property subject to Connecticut estate tax, and tax rates. Judge Calabrese also answers questions from the audience.


Probate: Myths, Misconceptions and Mistakes (MMM)

This seminar examines issues such as ownership of motor vehicles, real property owned in survivorship, need for a will, out of state real property, interest in limited liability companies, burial and funeral arrangements in wills, failure to name beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement accounts, probate fees, “avoiding” probate, and failure to fund a living trust.  Judge Calabrese reviews the consequences to heirs and beneficiaries and the implications for probate proceedings.  Judge Calabrese also answers questions from the audience.


Living Trusts: Myths versus Reality

Living trusts can be a legitimate estate planning tool, but unscrupulous purveyors of living trusts have been known to misrepresent some of the reasons to use them in order to pressure the unwary into purchasing their living trust package, often at a cost of thousands of dollars. This 45 minute presentation by Judge Calabrese looks at these misrepresentations one by one, and discusses the realities of those claims. Judge Calabrese also discusses the advantages that living trusts can provide and will answer questions from the audience during this presentation.


Probate After the Death of a Loved One

When a loved one passed away, there can be confusion about probating the estate of the decedent.  This presentation is designed to provide an overview that will reduce some of the confusion that is common about the role of the probate court, and what families may need to do when a loved one passes away.  Judge Calabrese reviews the role of the probate court, the necessity of probate, elements of administering a decedent’s estate, options for different types of estates, how long the process can take, and will answer questions from the audience.


Incapacity, Conservatorships and the Probate Court

While many people plan for the transfer of assets at death by creating wills, few are aware of the options and importance of planning for legal incapacity. Legal incapacity can occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Wills have no utility during the will creator’s lifetime, including when they become incapacitated. The ability to deal with the incapacitated person’s financial and personal affairs may require court intervention. Planning for incapacity can minimize the stress and uncertainty families face when a loved one becomes incapacitated.  Connecticut probate courts deal with issues of incapacity regularly with guardianships, conservatorships, and commitments.   Judge Calabrese discusses legal incapacity, the role of the probate court, conservatorships, and legal tools to plan for incapacity. He also answers questions from the audience on the topic.


Probate Myths and Misconceptions

In this presentation, Judge Calabrese will examine the myth of avoiding probate in Connecticut, handwritten wills, what happens when someone dies without a will, powers of attorney, real property, living trusts, attorney fees and attorney qualifications.


Probate Mistakes

In this presentation, Judge Calabrese will examine some of the common mistakes he’s seen in nearly 15 years as a Connecticut Probate Judge.  Topics include who is qualified to give advice about probate, failure to plan, the dangers of relying on a will bequest, pitfalls to disinheriting an heir at law, failing to plan for legal incapacity, lifetime asset transfers, naming beneficiaries of accounts and insurance policies, and the pitfalls of “do it yourself” estate planning.


Choosing an Attorney

It’s common for those in need of legal services to have questions and even to feel intimidated at the thought of choosing an attorney to represent them.  In this brief presentation, Judge Domenick Calabrese of the Region 22 Probate District in Southbury will use his nearly 15 years on the bench and over 21 years as a practicing attorney to take the mystery and trepidation out of the attorney selection process.  Judge Calabrese will discuss attorney expertise and credentials, what is required by the rules of professional conduct, attorney fees and intangible aspects of the attorney-client relationship to help people needing legal representation make informed, confident decisions.  Judge Calabrese will answer questions from the audience during and after the presentation as well.  


How to Schedule Free Seminars

Judge Calabrese is available to address civic and other groups on various probate matters free of charge as a public service. 

If you are interested in having Judge Calabrese address your group, please contact the Court at (203) 262-0641.


  • Connecticut Estate Taxes
  • Conservatorships
  • Guardianships of Adults with Intellectual Disability
  • Probate & Connecticut Unclaimed Property
  • Living Trusts: Myths versus Reality
  • Real Estate and Probate
  • Administration of Decedent’s Estates in Connecticut
  • Legal Incapacity, Conservatorships & the Probate Court

         Other topics are also available upon request.











  The focus of the probate court is to provide friendly, responsive service to all. 
However, Connecticut law prohibits probate court staff from giving legal advice.
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